I have learned a lot in my nearly 24 years, at being an autism mom.
I have learned that my son can find the correct button to work the DVD player in his room, to find the exact part of the video that he wants to watch. Even if it is a totally different player than he had the day before.
I have learned that I cannot sneak a bowl of ice cream, to eat by myself…the unwritten rule is: all desserts on Mom’s plate must be shared equally with the boy, or you will be required to refill the empty plate until the boy has satisfactorily gotten his share.
Cookies of all kinds must be accompanied by a cup of milk…in the dedicated “milk cup”.
If Magic Shell is found in the pantry, (that mom has forgotten was there) ice cream will have to be also found, or added to the grocery list.
Pasta must have grated cheese and bread to be eaten.
If items are hidden, no one is allowed to mention the location of said item, if the boy is within 50 yards of the conversation.
I have learned the power of counting to 3. I rarely get past the number 2, before I see him responding.
Singing silly songs will make the boy smile, allowing for a tooth brush to enter his mouth for as long as the song lasts. And singing the Barney song, will get a kiss and a hug every time!
Pretending that you are clueless gets him to figure out how to communicate his wants and needs.
I have learned that the boy understands most everything we say to him, however, like most kids…he ignores me.
I have learned that he thinks he is outsmarting me, especially when he does something he isn’t supposed to, while covering himself with a blanket…”The cloak of invisibility has no power here, Son”.
I have learned that the boy understands, and if you want something, you have to ask nicely, by kissing your mother on the cheek to say “please”.
And most of all, I have learned that you don’t have to have words to make someone feel loved. One hug from the boy, says “I love you, Momma” louder than 100 PA systems at a rock concert.